After the World Trade Center attacks in 2001, Chicago police officers rushed to New York to help — a sign of the long and close relationship between cops and firefighters in the two cities.
Last weekend, New York police officers came to the aid of their Chicago brethren, participating in a baseball game to raise money for the family of slain Chicago police Cmdr. Bauer.
Bauer, 53, was killed Feb. 13, shot six times after chasing a man sought by police. Prosecutors have charged four-time felon Shomari Legghette with killing Bauer.
On a sweltering Saturday, the CPD’s Finest club took on NYPD’s team at the University of Illinois at Chicago before more than 300 fans and against a backdrop of the downtown skyline.
The game raised more than $3,300 for the Paul Bauer Memorial Foundation, according to Vincent Macias, head of the Chicago team, who’s an intelligence officer with the department.
Chicago beat New York 6-3, with Officer Kevin Sweeney, who played at Northern Illinois University, leading the way for the Chicago team with a double and a single.
Two former minor-leaguers are on the Chicago team, along with lots of former college players, including Macias, who attended Saint Xavier University on the South Side.
Macias, who patrols right field on the diamond, also was the former quarterback for Chicago Police Department’s Enforcers football team, which will be playing for a national championship against NYPD on Saturday at Morton High School West in Berwyn.
Next month, the CPD Finest Baseball Club plays the Chicago Fire Department’s team at Sox park in another fund-raiser.
Macias said the officers on Chicago’s baseball team are close to their counterparts in other cities as well, including San Francisco, Los Angeles, Dallas and Philadelphia. Last year, CPD Finest played in the World Police and Fire Games in Los Angeles and in the Liberty Bell Classic in Philly.
“I think our bond is very special,” Macias said. “We are the same people, just from two different cities. We just love baseball, and we love the job.”